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Using the 1986 Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act as a model, our proposal encourages US firms based abroad to mitigate the impact of discriminatory laws, and in doing so allow women to better access employment and participate fully in the workforce.
The importance of ID for empowering women and girls is spot-on, but so far discussions about identification and gender haven’t given equal attention to the other side of the equation. And new data shows that when it comes to identification and gender equality, we encounter a two-way street. Identification isn’t just critical for achieving gender equality; addressing underlying gender discrimination is essential to making sure that all people have identification and the benefits that come along with it.
As part of our new Gender and Development program, CGD just hosted the first annual Birdsall House Conference on Women. This year’s session, “Small Changes, Big Impact: Creating Conditions for Women and Girls to Thrive,” explored the possibility that cheap and scalable aid-funded interventions could considerably improve the lives of women and girls. Short answer: small changes do have big potential, but their limits should be acknowledged — and they require continued study and fine-tuning in order to be more effective.
Last week’s Girl Summit DC focused on child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM), the consequences of the practice, and solutions that will allow girls to delay marriage and reach their full potential. The event generated discussion about potential solutions, and raised a number of issues CGD will be tackling through its new Gender and Development Program over the coming years.
Do laws make a difference? It may seem an odd question, but there are certainly examples of cases where they don’t have the intended effect. And there is some skepticism in the gender and development field (and elsewhere) that a simple legal change will do much to alter entrenched norms and customs, particularly in countries where the rule of law is fragile.